When Should My Side Hustle be Full Time?

Now that we're getting some traction on our side hustle, the real question is, when do we go all in?

November 27th, 2019   |    By: Wil Schroter

We've been working around the clock on our side hustle with the dream that one day it'll be our full-time gig.

But now that we're getting some traction, the real question is, when do we go all in?

The best Investor — our current paycheck

There will never be a more equitable investor than our current paycheck.

Full funding, no pitch process, and market compensation from Day One.

Compare that to when we try to actually raise money in a grueling pitch process, spend months with no income, and have to work for half of what we made last year.

While our current investor (our paycheck) has a lot of hours and distractions, it has some really important benefits: it's predictable, it's consistent, and if shit hits the fan, we just focus on that.

So we want to hold onto that sweet, sweet investor for as long as we can.

But we need more time for our side hustle!

Yep, we do.

But it's a trade-off — do we want to worry about time or money? Time can be stretched out. Money really can't.

Also, having money consistently coming in (our paycheck) actually gives us more time to work on our Side Hustle without having to worry about running out of money.

Sadly, it's one of those things we don't appreciate until after we quit and realize that having more time was much easier to manage than being broke.

What if we're getting a lot of demand? Is that time?

We want to look for a consistent demand curve over a long period of time — say 6 months or longer.

The problem is when we see our first big month we often can't tell if that's the beginning of a deluge of activity or just a single big month. We're looking for consistency over a long enough period of time so that it's a trend, not a blip.

All too many Founders have jumped ship after a single surge only to realize later it was the wrong indicator. Whether it's extending the runway for the consistent paycheck or holding out longer to make sure the activity is a true trend, the time to jump ship is always 3 months from now.

So wait as long as possible, huh?

Yes. While the excitement of a new Side Hustle is amazing, what we need to focus on is ensuring its longevity by ensuring our own longevity.

The moment we jump ship, we need to be damn sure there's a lifeboat.

In Case You Missed It

The Secret to Growing Your Side Hustle. So you want to get your side hustle on? Here's what you need to know about surviving the journey and growing your hustle into a full-time business.

3 Ways to Support Employee Side Hustles. Leaders who encourage employees to pursue their side hustles can be rewarded for that investment of trust. People gain skills and master new technologies through side hustles, which can end up benefiting you, their primary employer.

Getting Your Idea Going: Don’t Quit Your Day Job. Instead of thinking of how quickly you can quit your job, think about how long you can keep your job and push your startup forward.

About the Author

Wil Schroter

Wil Schroter is the Founder + CEO @ Startups.com, a startup platform that includes BizplanClarity, Fundable, Launchrock, and Zirtual. He started his first company at age 19 which grew to over $700 million in billings within 5 years (despite his involvement). After that he launched 8 more companies, the last 3 venture backed, to refine his learning of what not to do. He's a seasoned expert at starting companies and a total amateur at everything else.

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